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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Oct 7 2012 15:43:11

Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Bonanza sellers are twittering (not tweeting) after social networking site Twitter suspended their individual accounts en masse. One seller told EcommerceBytes he estimated Twitter suspended 500 users on October 4th and said hundreds more were suspended over the next several days. "Included were Twitter users who had not tweeted about Bonanza in several months as well as those who tweet daily," he said.

Another reader told me, "The canned response we all received when we filed appeals was that the suspensions were "because it appears you may be managing a number of Twitter accounts. Creating serial or bulk accounts with overlapping uses is a violation of the Twitter Rules; as a result, all of the accounts created have been suspended pending more information being provided.""

The seller said the bulk of those effected did not have multiple twitter accounts, and, "the few who do, use their multiple accounts in different ways. It would appear that the suspensions were really the result of their bots identifying any tweet with "at Bonanza", "@Bonanza", or "#Bonanza" as spam, thus earning an immediate suspension."

As she pointed out, Bonanza members are eclipsed by Etsy and eBay users who also promote their businesses on Twitter. But could the mass-suspension of Bonanza users be the beginning of a wider trend, she asked? "This targeting of small business owners has got to stop," she said.

What Does Twitter Say?
Here's the letter Twitter sent to suspended accounts:

Hello,
We understand that you're contesting an account suspension. Please be sure to read this entire email.
Twitter suspends accounts for a variety of reasons. Your account was suspended because it appears you may be managing a number of Twitter accounts. Creating serial or bulk accounts with overlapping uses is a violation of the Twitter Rules; as a result, all of the accounts created have been suspended pending more information being provided.

Please respond with the following information in only one ticket:
a) a list of the accounts that you have created and which of these you would like to have reinstated, and
b) your planned use for the accounts.
The Twitter Rules can be found here: http://support.twitter.com/articles/18311
Thanks,
Twitter Support


I've sent a question to Twitter, but the PR staff may not be working on the weekend (and it's a holiday weekend, to boot). Tweeting this blog post might get someone's attention there!

Bonanza Perplexed
Bonanza's Mark Dorsey got right back to me and said the company has had the same messaging from Twitter as its members. "It was really strange that all of a sudden many Bonanza sellers had their Twitter accounts suspended. We learned of this on Friday and immediately reached out to Twitter."

Twitter sent Bonanza the same message its sellers received. "We replied on Friday to their auto reply," Dorsey said, "but have yet to hear back from them. I have also just checked our Twitter account, @Bonanzamarket and it is still suspended. From what I understand, Bonanza has been trending on Twitter several times, most recently on October 1st, so it is a bit puzzling as to why this happened."

Dorsey said he hopes to hear back from Twitter soon and that all Bonanza sellers will have their accounts reinstated soon.

Suspended Twitter Users Turn to Pinterest
Writing on the Bonanza discussion boards, a seller wrote, "Just thinking about all the hours and the work involved, all the followers I've gained. The thought of starting all over again just blows my mind...it feels like total burnout."

When another seller asked others on the board if they were having Twitter withdrawal, one wrote, " Nope, in fact, it’s quite relaxing tonight. Something to think about," and another wrote, "Not really Shar, I just go to Pinterest now, lol."

Twitter rules are found here - but as Brian Cohen pointed out in his post on the AuctionBytes Blog last night, eBay and Amazon have many Twitter accounts, not to mention all their sellers. Let us know what you think, and keep me posted, as I will be follow-up on this story.



Comments (30) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: G-and-A This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 16:02:14 2012
Thank you so very much for posting this!  It might help.  The situation does not seem to be in any "news" anywhere.  How do you get word out to the world when you can't Tweet.  :)
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 16:05:25 2012
This was a very odd thing, to say the least. I have accounts at Bonanza, Yardsellr and a few auction items at eBay. I was not one of the folks who got suspended. There seemed to be zero rhyme or reason to who got suspended either. I am still tweeting away by the way, but would like to know the real story as to what happened here.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: CritterCreekRanch This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 16:15:13 2012
Thanks for putting this up! It is so frustrating to be suspended, I used my twitter act. for buisness and personal use, and was suspended like so many others on Bonanza for the same so called reason you listed above still waiting on a response from twitter
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: ck This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 16:16:26 2012
Thanks so much for covering this Ina.  
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: Belle This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 17:19:20 2012
There are so many reasons why people use twitter other than to promote their items. If it was the amount of promos that bothered twitter, you'd think they'd have someone smart enough to figure out how to block just the promos. This doesn't say alot for twitter techs abilities.

Personally, I haven't tweeted in a couple of months. I realized that for me, it wasn't doing one bit of good to bring in sales, but I did use it to follow news, events, humor, etc. So, I miss that but I sure don't miss the feverish pitch of constantly tweeting to a brick wall.  
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: csmih731 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 17:27:38 2012
I don't tweet Bonanza items, just Etsy and eBay, but my account was also suspended. I hope they get this cleared up soon!
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: Sheeny This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Oct 7 17:31:23 2012
Thanks for covering this dire situation on behalf of all those affected.  Anyone still able to tweet should tweet this story.

https://twitter.com/Mr_Sheeny/status/255049698036027394
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       
Sun Oct 7 17:47:28 2012
I will nice to know the real answer from Twitter because it looks strange.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: Karoden This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Oct 7 18:08:13 2012
I have used Twitter 4 or 5 times a week for about two years, and never felt that I was violating their rules, and I was suspended without notice on Oct. 5th.
  I recently started using Pinterest, and am experiencing excellent results so Fond Adieu to Twitter.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: Sherie This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 18:54:47 2012
There just seems to be no rhyme or reason. Once something starts to make some sense, someone else has a scenario that happened which makes no sense.

Twitter really needs to put some more details in place into their automatic response emails.

For example, how long roughly it takes to get a real live response from them or if they will even respond at all if they decide to not re-instate someone. Communication is lacking, which I hope they improve upon.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 21:51:48 2012
Hmmm, well I went over to Bonanza and did a product search for twitter...many sellers are specializing in posting items to twitter, like 50 items daily for like 60 days, something like that, much the same deal but different amounts for different lengths of time...Sorry Charlie but that is pure spam and is defeating the whole purpose and intent of Twitter.  Twitter is for a persons or companies own posts, not only advertising but news about what is going on in the company or with the person. I know Bonanza is heavy on community spirit but I think the members have overdone it and shot themselves in the foot!  Items are tweeted and retweeted ad nauseam. I unfollowed two rabid tweeters that seems like all day long would tweet.  I counted in one hour over 100 tweets for items on etsy and bonanza. That was just one, the other was as bad.    Better read the rules and the intentions of the site next time.      
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Sun Oct 7 22:28:59 2012
Maybe Twitter is concerned that they may be becoming as irrelevant as eBay has become …

Glad I’m not a “twitterer”, I have better things to do …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: lonestar This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 7 23:55:14 2012
People on Fiverr still send tweets for a price and there tweeters on every selling site so why is Bonanza getting nailed?  Maybe its because they've partnered with ebay.  That wouldn't surprise me.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 8 00:03:47 2012
Yep, Bonanbonazana was the great hope but seems they threw it away to be ebay's lackey....can't figure it out...
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Oct 8 00:07:21 2012
Hmmm ... I wonder if this has anything to do with sellers that are advertising with ebay through bonanza. I have 2 stores on bonanza, a yard sale on yardsellr and a store on ecrater. My account hasn't been suspended. I don't do the advertising that bonanza offers.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: truehandmade This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 8 04:21:19 2012
Your spotlight on this matter would benefit from another one of your in-depth reviews of the value or more appropriately, the lack of value of Twitter as a mktg tool for small sellers.  The mktplc sites have pushed their sellers to spend hours using ''mktg tools'' that stink.  FB is no better.  The rapid OVERUSE of these useless ''tools'' haven't worked for small sellers and never will.  The sheer volume and overuse is what made Twitter and FB pointless more than a year ago.  
Come on small sellers, you are a lot more sophisticated than this!  You should be clamoring for mkplc to spend some of their cash on mktg themselves, not dump on their sellers and ask for more and more and more FREE LABOR to do all of that for them!  
Why do these sites keep walking all over small sellers with myths like tweeting?  Because they let them!  What's up with that?  Don't protest to Twitter, tell your mktplc sites to start working for you-----if you're the one making them so much money!  Twitter & FB are NOT viable ''tools'' and it's a complete sham for the sites to keep pushing these myths on their sellers.  Admit it, they don't work and CREATE BETTER TOOLS for your sellers!
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Mon Oct 8 07:41:08 2012
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. So much for free speech.

So, celebrities can tweet details of their personal life that we could care less about but one can not promote their business using Twitter?

I for one have always thought Twitter was a complete waste of energy.  Now that I have read this  it only re-enforces my negative perception of the company.

Hashtag this Twitter:    :(
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Mon Oct 8 07:44:19 2012
"Sorry Charlie but that is pure spam"

Unlike a Lindsay Lohan tweet which is just silver tongue poetry.
Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: JB This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 8 09:44:52 2012
IMO Celebrities that tweet things about their personal life are promoting their business which I believe is themselves.  

Their comments promote traffic to themselves, which in turn  will promote their career. In business you promote traffic to your product/business by wording that reflects your business, the people who run it, and your product.

If servers are  overloaded, their looking to reduce cost. The little guy is always the loser.
I don't waste my time on what I believe a useless venue like twitter. When the electric goes out, were in the 19thc anyway.

Perminate Link for Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You   Twitter Tells Marketplace Sellers, No Tweets for You
by: Sherie This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 8 10:11:40 2012
First, I do not like how Twitter handled this at all. I was not suspended for "promoting" too much. Obviously my followers did not think that either and would have been dropping me.

Twitter can take their lack of communication and keep it (because they are anyway lol).

If I get reinstated, I get reinstated. It's no skin off my back as far as I am concerned.

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